Feb 29, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives the ball during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 120-103. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Happy 4th o' July, my friends. What's everybody got planned for today? Gonna grill some fireworks? Launch some hot dogs and hamburgers? Whatever you're doing today, I hope it's pleasant and festive. While we're festing, free agency (pre-agency, rather. There you go, paxon) will continue right along.
Jeremy Lin is in Houston. He will probably receive an offer sheet from the Rockets. Different media outlets are speculating with varying estimates of that offer, but I'm content to just wait and see what he gets. From the sound of things, the offer will be for three or four years, with a salary of just over $5 million in the first two years, then something much greater in years three (and four, if there's a four). This explains some of that. The overriding sentiment of "the Knicks will match anything" has been questioned somewhat by folks who wonder if James Dolan is willing to invest that many future dollars into Lin and, as a result, probably pay the luxury tax at some point.
I think the Knicks will match anything, and I think the Knicks should match anything. I have doubts about luxury tax payment being a huge problem for Dolan because: 1. He's paid it before. 2. The Knicks look like they'll be taxpayers in 2014-2015 anyway. 3. Jeremy Lin almost certainly makes the Knicks a lot of extra money simply by being Jeremy Lin. He definitely did that last season.
On top of the luxury tax stuff, I think Jeremy's worth the investment and the risk therein. Even once "Linsanity" died down, Lin produced very nicely for a 23 year-old point guard and the team won more than it lost with him in charge. The Knicks haven't employed a point guard this young and this promising since...I dunno, Mark Jackson? It's been a while. (Oh wait! Frank Williams! Nevermind!). Lin's performance this past season led me to believe that he's capable of at least being a regular starter for the rest of his healthy career, and I think that sort of projection is worth paying and/or overpaying. If he keeps it up, great. If he falters, he'll tie up some undeserved money for a little while, then he'll be a huge expiring contract. Those can be traded. Rashard Lewis just got traded.
I want Jeremy Lin back on the Knicks, and I don't care what the Knicks have to pay for him (though note that that amount is limited by rule, so it's not like they'll have to match a max contract). If he weren't worth it, why would other teams (with famously savvy front offices) make these big offers?
Well, we'll see how big the offers actually are. They should be coming soon.